Past Perfect by Leila Sales Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Past Perfect by Leila Sales Book ReviewPast Perfect by Leila Sales
Also by this author: Tonight the Streets Are Ours, Once Was a Time
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 1st 2012
Genres: Adolescence, Dating & Sex, Friendship, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

A sweet and clever novel about the woes of (boy) history repeating itself, from the author of Mostly Good Girls.All Chelsea wants to do this summer is hang out with her best friend, hone her talents as an ice cream connoisseur, and finally get over Ezra, the boy who broke her heart. But when Chelsea shows up for her summer job at Essex Historical Colonial Village (yes, really), it turns out Ezra’s working there too. Which makes moving on and forgetting Ezra a lot more complicated…even when Chelsea starts falling for someone new.     Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think that a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. But with Ezra all too present, and her new crush seeming all too off-limits, all Chelsea knows is that she’s got a lot to figure out about love. Because those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it….

Can I get a what what for all my history nerds in the house? Y’all, Past Perfect, Leila Sales’ sophomore novel is off the hook with awesomeness. Every summer, Chelsea and her parents work as reenactors, or historical interpreters at Essex Village, a tourist attraction where it’s always 1774, baby. This summer, Chelsea doesn’t want to work at Essex. Instead, she wants to work at the mall and become an ice cream expert with her BFF Fiona. Life, however, has other plans and Chelsea ends up at Essex again, which would be okay except, oh, her ex Ezra who she’s not over yet has managed to get a job at Essex too. Compound this with Chelsea’s selection as general in the war against the Civil War reenactors, up the road at Reenactment land and Chelsea is sure to have a crazy summer.

Friends, compatriots, I LOVED Past Perfect. I loved how cool in made history. I mean I already love history, but it least it makes it semi-appeal to people who only think history is cool when Gladiator is on tv or their knowledge of the Revolutionary War extends to The Patriot. Further, I loved how unique Lelia Sales’ book was. I mean, how many other books feature reenactors? At war? It’s such a great premise and catalyst.

I might as well begin making my love declarations, as that’s what the rest of my handwritten review looks like.

I loved:

  • The War. Yo, those of us who have ever desperately wished to experience a color war or those of us privileged enough to go to a camp with a color war should be able to relate.
  • Chelsea as a character. I could relate to her whole being stuck in the past/hating change mentality. I want to tell her it will be alright to change, and in fact it’s a great thing.
  • The romance. It’s very Romeo and Juliet forbidden love and all that jazz minus crazy shit like double suicides.
  • Chelsea’s BFF Fiona. This girl is fierce. She’s got a loud, bubbly personality, dates lots of boys, is super dramatic, sweet and always down for her best friend. Plus she has words of wisdom, which I consider words to live by.
  • The examination of history written by the victors and how we’ll never know exactly how the past happened if we didn’t experience. And further, our memories may be imperfect, because we tend to remember the good and forget the bad. It’s just got this awesome look at history which causes me to geekgasm all over the place.

Really, I can only write my love in bullets for Past Perfect and say lay your hands on a copy of it when it drops, because it is awesome and there’s romance and war and history.

Disclosure: Received for review via Galleygrab.

Other Reviews of Past Perfect by Leila Sales:

G Reads Books!

The Allure Of Books

Purchase Past Perfect here.*FYI I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you buy things from Amazon after clicking link.


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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. First of all, THANK YOU for mentioning my review 🙂 and second… I love that you love this book as much as I did 🙂 The subtle hints at history thrown in to a modern day teenage angsty romance was fabulous. The trampoline scene was by far my favorite! And yes, I secretly want to have a color war now. Can we make this happen?? Great review April!

  2. Oh what up trampoline scene! Hahaha. Loved the ladies in this book — who WOULDN’T want to be an ice cream expert???

  3. Very delightful review. Honest, funny and enjoyable.

  4. you had me at history nerd geekgasm.

  5. Super awesome cover.


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